Meatless Monday: Quick Spinach, Tomato Fusilli

On Mondays, I tend to find a recipe to prepare, compose a list of all the ingredients and go to the store to buy them.  The more that I am cooking, the more I realize, wait I have that and only need one or two additional items. 

When I cooked the quesadillas that required cilantro, I was forced to buy a large bushel and only needed a little for the recipe (why don't they sell smaller quantities?)  I was able to find another recipe with cilantro to make later in the week and utilize the herb.

I hate to waste food and am always looking for great ways to make the most of my fruits, veggies and herbs.  Smoothies are my favorite way to use browning fruits, but I'm still looking for a way to conserve vegetables.

My dear friend Jill recommended a delicious pasta dish for this week's Meatless Monday.  I always try to stock spinach and tomatoes for salads and pasta as my kids love noodles.  Olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper are pantry staples.  I do have Parmesan, but unfortunately no Asiago. 

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1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.

Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve


I made two batches of this, as I knew my kids would immediately turn their little noses at the spinach.  They gobbled up their noodles with tomatoes.


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As I am typing this, I'm eating a large bowl of the with spinach version and it is delicious, light (good for lunch and dinner) and fresh.  Interesting how adding a little of the pasta cooking water back in creates a savory saucy broth.

I am thrilled I bypassed my weekly Monday trip to Whole Foods and I used up my wilting tomatoes and spinach.  Thanks, Jill! I'm sure the asiago would have added an intensity to the meal. 

What are you eating for Meatless Monday?  As always, share and I'll make your dish just as I did with Jill's delectable suggestion. 



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